Dear Friends


“Come thou long expected Jesus”


I should like to say that I was a keen gardener like so many of you are – but sadly No. However I am an optimistic one. I am optimistic that next year I shall be able to build on what was accomplished this year and that next year I shall be able to grow more fruit and vegetables. And perhaps a few flowers as well.

Gardening is an ideal medium for optimism. Besides the natural benefits of fresh air and light exercise there is the mental stimulus as well. As one season begins to fade our thoughts turn to next season’s catalogues and what to plant next. There are so many varieties to try out and each year is different because of the weather. This may have been a good year for pears. Next year it may be the tomatoes turn to excel.

For a couple of months I have been waiting for a special delivery from the postwoman. I had ordered some new strawberry plants by mail order and as the weeks have gone by so my expectation has grown. Will it be today? Or tomorrow? And what if I am out when the package comes? Will the plants wilt if I miss the delivery? I had even telephoned the company to chase up the order. Of course this all added to the anticipated pleasure and enjoyment, and the looking forward to planting them out. We all know that having to wait for something is not a bad thing at all. Instant gratification, so endemic in our society, is not good for us, or our children.

The raised bed has been ready for weeks, well weeded and good compost in situ. It was important to be ready for the arrival and not leave preparations till last minute.

Well, on Friday, the plants arrived. It was a perfect day, weather good and I had a spare hour to see to them. I even took a photograph of the finished bed. (I know. I need to get out more!)  And now I look forward to waiting for the harvest next year and for some years to come.

The similarities with our Christian seasons of Advent and Christmas are obvious. You can work most of them out for yourselves! There is a need for preparation and for excited anticipation as we get ready to receive Jesus Christ into our hearts and homes once again at Christmas time. Advent this year begins on 3rd December and so Christmas Eve is on a Sunday too which seems to shorten the season of preparation and waiting expectantly for the coming of Jesus Christ .We do have the opportunity to keep Advent  with perhaps extra prayer/reading and time for thoughtfulness. It is a truism that the busier we are then the more time needs to be set aside for stillness and quiet. Perhaps we need to trim out all unnecessary distractions, and there are plenty of them, as we plan and shop for the Christmas celebrations.

And because Advent means that we are also waiting to welcome Jesus Christ when He comes again in glory then we really do need to make sure that we are prepared and not be caught napping like the foolish bridesmaids in Jesus parable.(Matthew 25: 1-12)

I wish you all a good Advent and a very Joyous Christmas.


Canon Pauline